Thursday, 16 July 2015

Hear me out

I have always found talking about my children's imperfections difficult, I hold my hands up, my children are perfect to me as silly as that may sound to you. 

My middle daughter, is deaf, she wasn't diagnosed until she was three years old after a lot of worrying and nagging by myself. She started nursery only being able to say "mummy".

I sat there and sobbed internally when I was told that she wasn't talking because I had too many other children to pay her enough attention, I kept my face neutral as the health visitor told me I had to do more to help her talk, to help her keep her concentration. I wrung my fingers as the nursery teacher told me that they couldn't communicate with her and they didn't know what else to do. 

I stayed calm, I kept reassuring everyone that I would help to sort all of this out.

When she was diagnosed as having sensorineural deafness in both ears, I should have been devastated, but I was so relieved that finally people would listen to my daughter, to realise she had needs, she needed extra help, she needed extra patience.

I've dealt with the feelings of grief, the feelings of guilt that I wasn't a good enough to mother, but again we are approaching another uncertain time in her health, something that myself and all her other support network have been worried about that we have to address soon.

I sat here this morning sobbing with worry, with guilt, with the betrayal I feel every time I start to vocalise my worries about possible learning difficulties. Even writing that sentence makes me angry with myself, my brain yells; there is nothing wrong with her, she is perfect!!!!!!! How could you say that about her, how could you sit there and tell the world that there is anything wrong!!!!!

I am filled with pain this morning.

This morning my youngest daughter cried her heart out because her favourite shoes had fallen apart with wear, I hugged her until she stopped sobbing and she went off to school in her pumps.

How can I relieve the sadness in the eyes of my middle daughter when she is struggling to understand, when she is upset and frustrated, I feel useless, just a person who reports her faults to healthcare providers just so she can get extra help at school.

I still find it so difficult to talk about it without crying, parents evenings, doctors appointments, you name it I'm there falling to pieces, but my daughter, she's the one with the happy face with the skip in her step, always so loud and laughing.

She is perfect exactly the way she is.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Exploring Manchester: Manchester Cathedral

Today didn't plan out exactly how I had envisioned. I had to run an errand for hubs, which meant hopping on the tram into Manchester to a camera shop to get him a battery for his DSLR. Easy. said no......although the stock claimed they had the batteries in, they did not!! So I unexpectedly had the morning to myself!

I decided to go to a place that I've been wanting to go to for a while but have never been , The Manchester Cathedral.

I was not disappointed, it was beautiful inside!! I spent ages in there walking around, sitting, thinking, contemplating, hoping, daydreaming. 

They are renovating the organ at the moment so part of it was closed but there was plenty to see, statues, beautiful stained glass, the Bishop's chair, the many alters, the peaceful lady chapel. 

I will leave you with some photos, (click on them to make them bigger!) if you are at a lose end during the summer holidays it is certainly worth a visit!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Cafe roulette

There are only a few things that I will refuse to tackle head on, and one of those is entering a cafe when you know there is no available seating.

I mean it is a bit like playing Russian roulette, do you stay in the queue, buy your coffee and hope that a seat becomes available.....or do you turn on your heal and leave as quickly as you arrived.

I am normally the latter description due to the fact that how on earth can you possible determine the speed of a person finishing their large, extra shot latte and Victoria sponge?

Today I entered a cafe and there wasn't an empty seat in the place, but I knew I was meeting friends so I had to just go for it.

I eyed up the queue, eyed up the possible nearly finished tables....was that lady getting up to go or was she just to adjusting her underwear? Oh wait now.....he's picking up his shopping......he's going...he's going.....nope just getting out his new book to read.

Suddenly it was my turn to be served and as soon as I placed my order, two tables left!!!! Bingo!!!! 

This was the slowest made latte ever.....the tables had already been accosted......oh no.....I am going to have to stand in the corner with a cup and saucer and sip my coffee!!!

Lava hot coffee was given to me and I saw a table, I made my way over like an Olympic speed walker, fortunately it wasn't too far away, but only room for two......

A booth came free and I once again speed walked with my latte like a child in the egg and spoon race, one eye on the overflowing liquid, one eye on the booth, I dodged a walking stick, a pile of shopping bags, a child and then.......yes I had made it!!!! 

There was no one to celebrate with but still YES I had done it!!!!!!

Full cafe 0 - Amy 1 :)

Monday, 22 June 2015


What's up with the weather at the moment!?

One minute it's glorious sunshine, next minute I'm running for my poor, tired old umbrella. Last night I had the heating on, today all the windows are open and it feels warm and stuffy.

I feel like the weather changes as much as life can, one minute everything is glorious, birds are singing, sun is shining, and then next, it's torrential rain and wind whilst walking uphill.

Sometimes I can sense that bad weather is coming, a few little set backs here, a few bits of bad news there, and of course who isn't always counting the pennies.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that the freezer was being naughty and beeping all the time, well it's started again and now the tumble drier is leaking. My appliances are rebelling!!!!! and I'm desperately pleading with them to hang on, in the past I would be constantly worrying about this situation, but now I'm not panicking.

Recently, life was described to me as like being in a hurricane. 

When life is going well we are in the eye of the storm where is it calm and peaceful, but eventually the edge of the storm will cross our path and we will desperately want to get back to the place where we were before, where everything was ticking over nicely. 

The fear of not knowing how to overcome the storm, or not believing that we can, can shake us, but having that belief that we can be in that place of calm eventually is a very large umbrella to find shelter underneath.

If both my appliances do pack in over this week, I know it won't be the most ideal situation, but we will be ok, I just know it.

Thursday, 18 June 2015


On our windowsill there are three brown plant pots. They have each been the home to a beanstalk that we have now been growing for a couple of months.

It's been amazing to watch, at first they were a dried up bean with no life in it all all. It was hard to imagine that this brown, dull looking seed would grow at all! I had faith that we could grow the beans, so the children and I planted them, watered them and waited.

After a few days they began to shoot, hubs bought some special compost especially for seedlings and we re-potted them.

They began to grow quite quickly!!! Soon touching the ceiling of the kitchen and lovely delicate flowers started to bloom.

The sunlight from the windows combined with watering and the super compost had done the trick, after a bit of pruning an actual bean pod has grown!!!

I often stand back in my kitchen and look at the bean plants and think about what would have happened if we had not provided the correct method to grow them. Would they have grown on their own with no input?

What if the soil wasn't as fertile? What if we had watered it too much or too little? What if we had grown it in a cupboard in the darkness? Surely the plants would not have thrived. How about if the plant pot was smaller? Would the plant have adapted and still continued to grow?

The combination of just the right input can make everything grow, even ourselves, and when conditions aren't ideal we adapt and try and grow in other ways.

Growing has been on my mind recently, not only because I am quite short, but how far I've come over the past couple of years. I was that dried up old bean a few years ago, but now, after careful nurturing my flowers are starting to bloom and my stalk is reaching up for the heavens.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Swimming pool fun!

"But Mum can't we spend the whole day in the pool???"

Funnily enough this is exactly what I would say to my parents when I was a little girl away on holiday. I was absolutely addicted to spending as much time as possible in the swimming pool.

I loved swimming, I still do, it's a combination of the irresistible call from the glistening water in the sun and the feeling of freedom that swimming brings. The pool water would sparkle like it was winking at me, urging me to jump in.

My ultimate favourite thing to do was get a pair of snorkelling goggles, swim to the bottom of the pool and look upwards, so I could watch the surface of the water dancing around. Being underwater was like a whole new type of adventure playground, I would turn and twizzle moving the water with my legs and arms without thinking twice about it.

The love of water has passed down to my children so we made good use of the swimming pools that were there.

Here is a little movie showing what we got up too, hope you enjoy watching it as much as we loved splashing around!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Canvas Holidays Wooden Lakeside lodge holiday

Accommodation size is a factor that we all take into account, especially when you travel with children.

For us, the Canvas lodges allow our family of seven, or two families in one lodge, to enjoy a relaxing holiday without the worry of being on top of each other.  

Last week Canvas Holidays took us to Camping La Croix du Vieux Pont, Berny Riviere in France with my parents, there was nine of us in total.

Not only do the wooden lodges have a irresistible charm about them, they have a fabulous layout that comfortably accommodates two families.

Is there separate rooms for the children?
Hubs and I had a bedroom with a balcony, perfect for peaceful evenings as the children slept. The children were split over two rooms, two single beds, a bunk and a single.

My parents had the downstairs double bedroom and their own shower room and toilet, we had a toilet and family sized bathroom upstairs.

Can you all fit around the dinner table?
The dining table inside was massive and on the decking was a picnic table that we had most our meals on, it easily fit us all on and with the handy awning we could still be outside but take a break from the sun too.

A corner sofa made the Lounge area a comfy place to hang out and watch TV and the kitchen was a good enough size for two people to operate together without a fight.

But what about all the luggage???? Here are a few packing tips!

We only took one large suitcase for the children and one medium suitcase for hubs and I. As we were driving we only had a small amount of boot space.

The lodge's accessories can help reduce the amount of luggage you need.
  1. There is a great sized drying rack that sits on the decking to dry any hand washing and dry off beach towels. 
  2.  There are heated towel rails in both bathrooms that come on in the mornings (put on wet stuff before bed) which helped dry clothes and towels too.
  3. Choose the linen package and towels are provided, good sized towels too, perfect for around the pool, we only took two extra towels with us.
  4. No need to pack washing up liquid just pack some dishwasher tablets for the dishwasher.
  5. The gas-filled BBQ is the perfect first night meal, no need to pack any dry food, pick up some burgers and sausages from the shop (opens from 7:30am till 7:30pm) is it great value. 
  6. Toilet roll is in the toilets when you arrive, enough for one night, no need to pack any, just pop to the onsite shop.
  7. No need to pack pans, kitchen utensils, extra glasses, the kitchen is fully equipped it even has a mop and dustpan and brush.
  8. For the journey the children packed a back pack of their chosen toys and books. This worked well as they were entertained throughout the ferry crossing and the drive to the site plus it was the right size for them to carry themselves.

So what did I think?

If you are thinking of going away and you are a large family like us. Or you have been thinking about going away with another family or extended family. I can thoroughly recommend Canvas lodges as a realistic, enjoyable accommodation, a place where you can feel relaxed and comfortable, as well as having something special about your family holiday.

Monday, 8 June 2015

A cup of love

I like to collect mugs, tea cups and tea pots.

It's not just because I like the way they look, I like the way a mug can encapsulate a feeling and a memory when you hold it full of your favourite hot drink.

When I want a hot drink, which is most of the time, I will pick a mug out of the cupboard, fill it with tea and as I'm cradling it between my entwined fingers I will slip into the memory of where and when I bought the mug.

I have a wide selection of different mugs, one shaped as a shark, tea for one sets, cute cup and saucers. My favourite at the moment is my glass teapot that I got for Christmas. It looks like Cinderella's carriage and I absolutely love watching the water circle and mix from clear to deep orange as the tea infuses.

I use a milk jug that used to be my Grandmothers. It is fine bone china, one she used to lay out with the matching tea set that my Grandfather would bring to us on a tray in the mornings. It holds many memories of early morning tea and bacon sandwiches in bed and sunny afternoons in my Grandparent's garden.

When I fill the jug with milk I'm instantly took back there, I took the milk jug as the tea set was being shipped off somewhere after she died, I wanted to keep hold of those memories with every stir of my spoon.

My husband asked me if I would ever get bored of being bought mugs, there is no chance of that, it's like travelling in a time machine with every sip.